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‘Mad’ movies at the Garage, and Theatre Alliance kicks off its 27th season with Cabaret

by Mark Burger

 

It’ll be a mad, mad evening when the mad, mad moviemakers of the Piedmont Triad’s own Mad Ones Films present a special showcase of their work on Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Garage (110 W. 7 th St., Winston-Salem).

“What we will be screening is the first act in The Gospel According to Booze, Bullets & Hot Pink Jesus, a short film trilogy that’s been in the making for the last year or so,” explained Jaysen Buterin, the creative director of Mad Ones Films. “This first act was shot for very little money due to the gracious generosity of our cast, crew and supporters, so my main goal is to be able to show what we can do for very little money and hopefully raise the necessary funds to be able to complete the trilogy within the next year.”

As part of the burgeoning independent film industry in the region, this is only the latest bit of cinematic lunacy unleashed by Mad Ones Films. Buterin’s previous credits include The Decapitator and Flipper Stripper Vixens at the Inferno A-Go-Go!

The Gospel According to Booze, Bullets & Hot Pink Jesus is a profound tale of revenge, lust and faith — all of it filmed in the Piedmont Triad (where revenge, lust and faith are common). Inspired by “The Twilight Zone,” the films of Quentin Tarantino and, indeed, their previous film excursions, this Gospel According to Mad Ones Films is an action-packed black comedy laced with subversive sensibilities and irreverent humor.

The story focuses on one Mr. Michaels, a troubled eccentric who’s been expelled from the seminary and banned from the priesthood. Re-christening himself the “Missionary Man,” he travels the countryside, preaching the Gospel while also conning the locals out of their hard-earned money. But that’s just the beginning of the story….

“The event will begin at 9 p.m. with a quick faux ntrailer, followed by the premiere of the first act of the trilogy, The Missionary Man,” said Buterin. “After that, there’ll be a brief Q&A session and then we’ll show several of our other short films we’ve done over the last couple of years, and then we’ll screen The Missionary Man again at 11.”

Admission is free; however, there is a suggested “soul-saving” cover charge of $5.

For more information about the event, call 336.509.4845 or 336.293.5700, e-mail jaysen@madonesfilms.com or evan@madones films.com, or visit the official Mad Ones Films website: www.madonesfilms.com.

Theatre Alliance kicks off its 2010-’11 season with the Tony Award-winning musical smash Cabaret, which runs through Oct. 3 at the Theatre Alliance stage (1047 Northwest Blvd., Winston-Salem).

Set in Berlin at the tail end of the 1920s, much of the story takes place at the Kit Kat Club, where the master of ceremonies assures the clientele that this is the place to forget their troubles and have a good time. Yet there are dark clouds brewing in Berlin and throughout Germany, with the steady rise of the Nazi Party and the beginnings of what would become the Second World War. Three idealistic young characters are drawn together, but their relationship is soon threatened by outside forces.

The high-spirited musical numbers at the club are lent an increasingly tragic irony as the specter of dissent and destruction begin to manifest themselves. Cabaret , based on John Van Druten’s 1951 play I Am a Camera, was itself based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin.

The original Broadway production of Cabaret, featuring book by Joe Masteroff, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, opened in 1966 under the direction of Harold Prince. The show became an immediate critical and box-office smash, running 1,165 performances and earning 11 Tony nominations with eight wins — including Best Musical. A screen adaptation was inevitable, and in 1972 director Bob Fosse’s film replicated the show’s success, winning eight Academy Awards including Best Director, Best Actress (Liza Minnelli) and Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey, reprising his stage role as the Master of Ceremonies).

Cabaret returned to Broadway in 1987 with Grey reprising his role. A 1998 revival, co-directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall (who also choreographed), ran 2,377 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. The show remains one of the most popular musicals in the history of Broadway.

Jamie Lawson, the artistic director of Theatre Alliance, is at the helm of this production.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14 and $16. Due to limited seating, reservations are suggested. For tickets or more information, call 336.723.7777 or visit www.wstheatrealliance.org/site.

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